Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Colette Sorbetto Tank Top Pattern Review

During my self-induced Pattern Therapy sessions (hah) I decided I needed to make myself some new tops for Summer since my wardrobe consists of the same colour palette: creams, khaki greens, smudgy browns and dusty Pinks! Seriously - If you've seen me anywhere around over the past 12 months you'll think I always wear the same thing! 

Not only does my wardrobe consist of the same colours, but also the same style of garment, namely the trusty tunic, thus begins the search for the perfect tunic pattern (I can only change one thing at a time, and this time it's the colour, NOT the style, K?). Whilst looking for the perfect tunic pattern (still searching if anyone has any suggestions!) I re-stumbled across the Colette Sorbetto tank top and since it's a freebie download from the website, decided to give it a go.
I've had to peg the tank for 'aesthetics' - more on the sizing below!
The top itself is a basic tank with no closures (yey) and a box pleat down the front. This would be a great starter project for beginners using only two pattern pieces and just a handful of basic techniques. It's easily adaptable if you want to make adjustments too which is my next challenge.

The pattern prints out onto 25 pages which includes all your instructions, there's no colour coding so you can print out in grayscale to save your ink. It was simple to piece together and the fact that I have a guillotine REALLY saved me some time cutting out each block! 
I found the fabric requirements to be very generous, suggesting 1 1/2 yards of a 45in or 60in fabric but I used a 60in fabric and managed to squeeze the pattern into just half of that with a 27 inch cut for the size 10. If you want matching bias tape you'll need more and I can't vouch for any size larger than a 10 as I haven't made them! You'll definitely need more if using a 45 inch fabric. 

I have SO much of the fabric I used so this project would help use a bit more up (I really have to start using the materials I already have and stop buying new stuff and squirreling it all away). It's a lightweight cotton given to me by my grandmother last year so the ideas was to make a pyjama top to match the knickers I made using the same fabric a few weeks back. 
I won't lie, the length of the original scared me - I'm used to wearing my tops swinging around my hips, this is WAY too short for me but I wanted to follow the pattern accurately to work out adjustments for the next one and for a PJ top this length is just fine.

Now, sizing.. Because this is US sizing I made sure I took all my measurements to get the right size and came up somewhere between a 6 and an 8. The pattern recommends taking the larger measurement and cutting this size so I should have cut an 8. Somehow when I came to actually cutting the pattern though I managed to follow the lines for a size 10 and only noticed when I finished - I think there must have been a mental note embedded in my brain telling me I'm a UK 10 so cut that, urgh.
To make things easy I just went with it and made up the 10 BUT it didn't matter this time round, firstly because this was just a trial to see how the pattern goes together and secondly because it's only going to be used as a pyjama top so actually, the larger size is ideal. I'll pretend I did it on purpose ok? OK?! When I re-make I'll have to go for the 8, maybe even the 6.
See those gaping arm-holes? That's kinda what it looks like on me!
This pattern is so easy to follow and I'll definitely be buying from the Colette range in the future. All techniques are fully explained before going ahead to do them so if it's your first time you can't really go wrong! The one and only bit I really really hated was applying the bias tape. This was horrid - not because it was hard, it was just too tedious for my liking! If I'm going to go through all that effort again I'll definitely make matching bias (although I have my eye on this amazing panda fabric from The Eternal Maker, and some blue spotty bias similar to the stuff I used that goes really nicely)!

I'll definitely be making more of these, in the smaller size for day-wear! Adjustments I'd like to make are the following:
Add a peter pan collar with buttons down the pleat
Add lace on pleat
Lengthen into a tunic
Lengthen into a dress (maxi, anyone?)
Invert the pleat
Buttons down reverse

All in all I'm happy I have a new set of PJ's, I've used up some more of this fabric which seems to be never-ending and I have a new pattern to play with - yey!


  1. The outfit is very cute, I might have to steal the idea for a pj outfit for me. I have made the sorbetto top and I really like it. I really like the panties, did you make them from a pattern or an old pair?

    1. Hello there! I did make the knickers from a pattern but drafted it to my measurements so not sure it'd help for others - I know Kerry @ Charm & Laundry sells her own pattern for only £5.00 which would be perfect! You can get it here Good luck with your PJs! I wore mine as a set for the first time last night :)

  2. I just made one of these the other day too (and did exactly the same thing with the sizing despite taking my measurements! gah!) after I tried it on and it was way too baggy I looked into what other people had found.

    It turns out that it's built for a C cup, but that Colette patterns tend to have quite large sizing in other areas too.

    After trying mine on, I think I need to increase the bust dart to make it a bit trimmer and less baggy around the arm holes, I found a tutorial that works through how to transfer a vertical bust dart (where all the excess fabric is) into the one horizontal one so I was going to try that, you might find it useful too!

    I'd love to know where you got the panties pattern too! I just tried to make some recently and they're either way too big or embarrassingly small!

    1. Hey Sarah, thanks for your comment! Very interesting C cup point there, I definitely need to make the necessary adjustments! I'm going to have another go at the Sorbetto so will try it out then when I make a new toile.

      The knickers were drafted by me to my measurements but Charm and Laundry sell an awesome pattern, really reasonably too!
      Hope this helps! ♥

  3. Your sorbetto and knickers look great, I'm wanting to make sorbetto too, but I'm a complete novice and I don't like the sound of making adjustments, I'm not ready for that yet I don't think! X

    1. Hello Beckie! Don't be afraid to give it a go - if you take a look at other peoples attempts at the sorbetto tank there must be tonnes of great advice for getting it right the first time around. It'[ a good learning curve too and so simple to put together (and customise) there's really nothing to lose, try it out with an old bed sheet if you're concerned about cutting into expensive fabric to begin with! ♥


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